SURPRISE, Ariz.-- Sonoma State gave the No. 13 ranked Azusa Pacific women’s tennis team all it could handle, pushing the Cougars to three sets in three separate matches of a 5-2 Azusa Pacific win in the opening round of the Pacific West Conference championship tournament. The Cougars, who will take on No. 2 seed Hawai’i Pacific in the semifinals on Friday, led 2-1 headed into singles play, and after Sonoma State knotted the match at 2-2, rattled off three singles wins to clinch the quarterfinal victory.
“We knew it was going to be a battle, but we’ve won so many matches like this that I was confident the girls could pull it out. We’re happy to move on and we know it’s going to be another really tough match tomorrow,” said head coach Mark Bohren.
After the Seawolves won the first singles match of the day with a 6-2, 6-0 defeat of Lindsey Yeom at No. 4 to tie it at 2-2, Azusa Pacific regained the lead with a 6-0, 3-6, 6-2 victory from Danae Ingwaldson at No. 3. Natalie Johnson then pushed the Cougars ahead 4-2 with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win against Leire Martinez at No. 2 before Kim Koetterheinrich’s 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) defeat of Spencer Trotta at No. 6.
Emily Harris was in a battle with No. 8 ranked Sara Celma, with the score at 4-6, 6-5 when the match was clinched. Stephanie Quan held a third set lead, 6-1, 6-7 (4), 3-0 against Karlee Budge at No. 5.
In doubles play Ingwaldson and Yeom edged out Martinez and Lauren Ha 9-8 (5) at No. 2, while Koetterheinrich and Quan posted an 8-5 victory at No. 3. Harris and Johnson fell to Celma and Kaitlyn Haithcock 8-4 at No. 1.
Azusa Pacific will continue tournament play on Friday against Hawai’i Pacific at 9:00 a.m. For more information on the PacWest tennis championship visit the PacWest Tournament Central page.